The holidays don’t have to be hard on your waistline. We asked past winners of NBC’s The Biggest Loser how they keep the weight off—even when the snow is piled deep and the buffet is piled high.
1. Don’t let the weather stop you.
“The winter was freaking me out—I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to exercise. So I’m learning to play ice hockey! To keep yourself going, find things that are fun for you.”
—Helen Phillips, season 7
2. Get back up after you fall.
“I lost 214 pounds on The Biggest Loser, but eventually the weight started to creep back on because I stopped making the effort. I had to remember: Going to the gym is not a punishment—it’s something I do because I care about myself.”
—Erik Chopin, season 3
3. Want it? Have it! (A little.)
“My strategy when it comes to cravings: Eat what’s plaguing you, but just a small portion. Otherwise, you eat around the craving. And if you add up the calories, it’ll probably be more than if you had just eaten what you wanted.”
4. Make it easy to measure.
“All my serving utensils are measured. It’s not obvious, because they’re really beautiful, but I have the option of tracking what I’m eating. That helps me be smart about it.”
—Ali Vincent, season 5
5. Remember that age is just a number.
“Before I went on the show, I sat on the couch and lived my life vicariously through the TV. Now, in addition to ice hockey, I’ve tried kayaking and I’ve become a runner—and I’m 50 years old! If you want to lose the weight, ask yourself, Is it that I can’t or that I won’t?”
6. Set small goals, and celebrate when you reach them.
“I needed targets, different things to go for on a daily basis—a distance on the treadmill or a weight goal. Without them, I wasn’t celebrating myself enough, and I got really good at beating myself up.”
7. Squeeze it in.
“When I’m in the grocery store, I’ll do lunges up and down the aisles. In the checkout line, you could do squats. I used to worry about what people thought of me, but I don’t care anymore. I know I’m going to get the last laugh.”